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Epilepsy Linked With Greater Risk of Death from Unnatural Causes

By jeremyc | April 11, 2018

According to a new study done by UK researchers, people with epilepsy might be more likely to die from unnatural causes, like suicide, unintentional medication poisoning, accidents, drug overdose, etc., than people who don’t have this condition.

A neurological condition, epilepsy is marked by spontaneous seizures which recur from time to time. The frequency of seizures and their duration differ from one patient to another. For a person to be diagnosed with this neurological condition, he or she must have experienced two seizures at the minimum.

Some time back, a study had reported that the risk of premature death is greater among people who have epilepsy compared to those who don’t. However, hardly any study has investigated how epilepsy affects the risk of death from causes that are unnatural.

For this study, the researchers analyzed data of more than 900,000 individuals living in England. More than 44,000 people in this studied group had epilepsy. The UK researchers also looked at the data of nearly 14,000 people who lived in Wales and who had epilepsy. In addition, the researchers also considered data of more than 279,000 individuals living in Wales who didn’t have this neurological disorder.

The researchers checked how epilepsy affects the risk of unnatural death, as well as the risk of death from intentional and unintentional medication poisoning.

People with epilepsy were two times more likely to die from suicide and three times more likely to die from an accident than people without this condition.

The risk of death because of unintentional medication poisoning was 5 times greater in epilepsy patients while the risk of death from intentional medication poisoning was 3.5 times greater among this group.

 

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